Monday, January 23, 2012

Wil Cardon accused of FEC violation by Dan Nowicki - The Arizona Republic

Jan. 20, 2012 10:24 PM

A Mesa man wants the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon broke the law when he poured more than $800,000 into his campaign last year.

A complaint filed with the FEC on Thursday by David Smith, a Republican who supports U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, Cardon's main GOP Senate rival, cites public records that suggest the money may have come from a $2.55 million loan Cardon secured using his Mesa home as collateral. However, it appears that the house is owned not by Cardon personally but by two businesses and a limited partnership associated with him, the complaint says.

"All I know is that you can't be using corporate business money to finance your campaign," Smith told The Arizona Republic. "It needs to be personal money."

Cardon's third-quarter fundraising report indicates that, between May 26 and Sept. 30, he made four cash infusions to his campaign totaling $815,709. Between May and August, Cardon also conducted multiple financial transactions related to the house, the complaint says.

Smith told The Republic that his brother lives in the same subdivision as Cardon and that he is skeptical that the house is worth enough to be used as collateral for a $2.55 million loan.

Smith's complaint to the FEC calls on Cardon to make public the source of the loans to his campaign and whether any corporate assets were involved; to reveal how much of his residence he personally owns; and to tell how he got the $2.55 million loan from Comerica Bank.

Under the FEC complaint process, Cardon and his campaign will be formally notified of the complaint and given the opportunity to respond. If the commission eventually concludes there is reason to believe that a violation has occurred, it can launch an investigation. If the money given to Cardon's campaign was secured with corporate assets and with inadequate collateral, it could violate a federal law governing corporate campaign spending and other FEC regulations related to loans to candidates.

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